Today, the Grounds Management Association (GMA) announces its 'Level 2 Winter Pitches' online course for volunteers and professionals.
It aims to help participants achieve maximum results when maintaining pitches during colder, wetter months. This includes football, rugby league, rugby union, and sports in the Gaelic Athletics Association.
Industry training courses and qualifications offered by the GMA are aimed at those wishing to gain further knowledge to help complement their practical skills, or update and refresh their knowledge and understanding.
'Level 2 Winter Pitches' can be completed in around six hours, which includes ten lessons, and gives participants the chance to learn more about basic turf care techniques. It is priced at £105 for non-members, and GMA members receive up to 30% off online courses pricing it at just £75.
Modules cover; the surface, influencing pitch playability, safe working practices, soils and drainage, how to identify a few of the most common turf grasses, and basic control methods for common weeds, pests, and diseases. The course also touches on planning annual work schedules, which is essential to support grounds management and keep natural turf pitches playable - helping to avoid match cancellations and minimise the risk of injury.
Jason Booth, Director of Technical and Learning said: "Winter can be a tough time of year to maintain pitches, even more so with current challenges we're facing as a nation and industry. This course is as much about gaining the skills to work reactively during Winter, as well as proactively planning ahead any out of season maintenance."
"The GMA recognises the valuable contribution of volunteers and 'Level 2 Winter Pitches' has been designed to help improve knowledge and efficiencies so that grounds staff and volunteers have the confidence to get pitches playable in unfavourable weather conditions using their volunteer time effectively. Launching this course online gives people the opportunity to access the vital information from anywhere, and at any time."
A recent survey, conducted by the GMA, found that 86% say GMA training courses add value to grounds management skills. The not-for-profit organisation has a longstanding background in upskilling the sector, first launching in 1934 with the primary aim to provide learning and education for groundspeople whilst bringing together the grounds community through its network.
Now, the GMA offers two levels of training courses and seven professional development qualifications via its online platform. A further online training course 'Level 2 Cricket' will be available ahead of the next playing season, in Spring 2021. Bespoke offline courses are also available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org